Bad blood between officials

2018-05-09 06:01

IT is sad and ominous for the “beautiful game” in this country that two of its most powerful officials, Danny Jordaan and Irvin Khoza, are seldom presented as brothers in arms in the news, when there’s still so much work to be done in the sport from the ground up.

More often than not, the football community is served a negative or controversial article when both these ageing men are in it.

The latest came a few days ago when SA Football Association (Safa) president Jordaan accused Khoza, boss of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and one of four vice-presidents at Safa, of trying to defame him by allegedly giving financial support to Jordaan’s rape accuser, Jennifer Ferguson.

It is reported that investigations into the rape case and the counter charge of defamation are now on the go.

So are plans for the next elections at Safa, which might help to explain this latest dose of political drama in the sport, first involving former referee and TV analyst Andile “Ace” Ncobo and Jordaan, and now Khoza and Jordaan. But, why should there be so much bad blood between our administrators in light of SA football being so far from where it could be?

Bafana Bafana’s shoddy world ranking at one level and the poor state of amateur football at another are clear examples of this massive room for improvement in the sport.

With this being the case, you would think that people would be reluctant to run football and endure endless stress and sleepless nights.

Moreover, shouldn’t Jordaan (66) and Khoza (70) be more concerned about going gently into retirement, having served the game, as well as the struggle for democracy, for so many years?

This is clearly not on the agenda of either man. But one wonders whether this would still be the case if there were far fewer commissions and kickbacks available to administrators.

How it does not come across as unethical behaviour when officials earn commissions for responsibilities they should be taking care of anyway, like negotiating deals with broadcasters and corporates, boggles the mind.

Considering that Jordaan, Khoza and a number of others have made millions from the game down the years, one can see the politicking going on for a long time unless the sport can find the guts to take a closer look at those nasty commissions.

By seriously restructuring them, reducing first-class travel and accommodation, and limiting access to paid-for overseas conferences, we could end up with administrators who are genuinely focused on correcting the game rather than ones who keep eyeing “top dollar” while trying to get the sport going.

Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal football lost one its big servants when
Bheka Phakathi passed away in a car accident on Saturday night at the age of 43.

As Golden Arrows chairperson
Mato Madlala fondly recalled this week, Phakathi was among a group of young soccerites from Lamontville, south of Durban, who helped Arrows become members of the First Division and then the Premier League by asking former Arrows boss Rocky Madlala to form a club and give them something to do. Phakathi was an impressive midfield strong-man for Arrows before moving to Pirates and then, near the end of his playing career, Maritzburg United, before he joined the coaching fraternity.

His premature death came shortly after another Arrows man had been involved in a major car accident, suggesting our football guys need to take more care on the roads.

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